• Status: Fully Approved
  • Start date: October 2015
  • Duration:

    2 years full-time

  • Attendance:

    You will spend 1 year at Birkbeck and the other year at 1 (or 2) of our European partner institutions. The year abroad is a requirement for completing this pathway.

    During your year based at Birkbeck, you will attend 1 afternoon and 2-3 evenings a week full-time.

    While abroad, the attendance requirements will depend on the partner institution you attend.

  • Location:

    Central London and abroad, depending on the partner institution you attend.

Programme overview

This international programme is an intensive and comprehensive exploration of the history of audio-visual and moving picture media, from the early 1800s to the present day. It encourages you to explore a wide variety of media in historical, sociological, aesthetic and anthropological terms, by drawing on distinct intellectual traditions of our European partners presented by the European experts in the field.

This innovative and flexible programme uniquely combines our strengths and experience in postgraduate teaching with the European excellence offered through our exchange programme with leading universities in France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Belgium and the Netherlands.

While abroad, your choice of modules will depend on the partner institution you attend. Each university has a specific strength and specialism, which should guide your choice of university as the year abroad aims to help you develop and deepen your particular film and media interests.

Our partner institutions

    How to apply

    In addition to an online application, you will need to submit a short written exercise.

    Need help with your application? Watch videos featuring our academic experts giving advice on applying to Birkbeck and answering some of the most frequently asked questions.

    Application deadlines and interviews

    This programme has rolling admission, but we encourage early applications.

    Online application

    Film, Television and Screen Media (European Pathway) (MA) (Full-time)

    Why study this course at Birkbeck?

    • The only such MA in the country that includes an international exchange with a set of prestigious European partners.
    • An introduction to key historical moments in film and related media history.
    • A wide range of option modules at Birkbeck, partner institutions and associated colleges of the University of London - build your own personal pathway.
    • Renowned UK and European tutors teaching their specialist subjects, and invited speakers who are leading figures in all aspects of the film and media field.
    • You will research culture with a large doctoral community and guidance for the development of doctoral projects is enhanced by the European exchange programme and award-winning film centre with its state-of-the-art, professionally equipped cinema.
    • The purpose-built Centre for Film and Visual Media Research in Gordon Square houses teaching facilities and research projects that follow on from the AHRC Centre which Birkbeck co-ordinated in 2000-2005, and offers exceptional screening and reference opportunities.
    • The Birkbeck Institute for the Moving Image was founded in 2012 to coordinate research in film and media across the College.
    • In addition to the Birkbeck Library, you will have easy access to the nearby University of London Library, the British Film Institute and the British Library, as well as other specialist collections and institutions in central London.
    • You will be encouraged to attend other lectures and screenings of interest organised by various research centres at Birkbeck and the University of London.
    • We attract a rich programme of visiting scholars and practitioners. There is a self-access centre for audio-visual materials and we have well-equipped computer facilities, including a multimedia laboratory.
    • Find out more about our research resources as well as our specialist resources and collections including the London Screen Study Collection.
    • Watch videos of our postgraduate students discussing their experience of studying at Birkbeck.

    Course structure

    The programme consists of a combination of a core module, a choice of option modules, a research project and a dissertation. The core modules are designed to introduce you to the basic methodologies and issues involved in the area concerned, as well as research skills and methods. Option modules allow you to pursue specific interests and areas of research.

    The research project gives you the chance to undertake independent research in the area of contemporary film and media practice and to reflect on research methodologies.

    The structure of the European Pathway is as follows:

    Year 1

    • Term 1 (at Birkbeck) - core module (30 credits) + first option module (30 credits)
    • Term 2 (abroad at the first partner institution) - option modules (30 credits)
    • Term 3 (at Birkbeck) - research project (30 credits)

    Year 2

    • Term 1 (abroad at the second partner institution) - option modules (30 credits)
    • Term 2 (at Birkbeck) - second option module (30 credits)
    • Term 3 (at Birkbeck) - dissertation (60 credits)

    Core module

    Option modules (which may include)

    You will also have an option to follow modules offered on the MA History of Art, MA History of Art with Photography, MA Museum Cultures and MA in Screenwriting as well as film and visual media modules offered at other colleges of the University of London (including King’s College, Goldsmiths, UCL, SOAS, Institute of Education and Royal Holloway) through the University of London Screen Studies Group.

    Entry requirements

    Good honours degree in a relevant subject (e.g. humanities, modern languages or social sciences).

    Knowledge of at least 1 other European language at a level to allow you to follow postgraduate-level courses at our European partner institutions.

    International entry requirements

    If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests.

    Visit the International section of our website to find out more about our English language entry requirements and relevant requirements by country.


    Full-time home/EU students: £ 6950 pa
    Full-time overseas students: £ 12975 pa

    Payment and Fees Discounts

    Flexible finance: pay your fees in monthly instalments at no extra cost. Enrol early to spread your costs and reduce your monthly payments.

    Fees discounts: If you are a Birkbeck alumni or a member of a union that is recognised by the Trades Union Congress (TUC), you may apply for a 10% discount off your tuition fees.

    Funding and Financial Support

    Finishing your undergraduate degree this year? Current Birkbeck students are eligible for a £10,000 scholarship to fund a part-time Master’s degree starting in 2015-2016.

    The School of Arts offers a number of bursaries for postgraduate students.

    Part-time students who are experiencing financial need may apply for assistance from the Birkbeck Alumni Fund Postgraduate Opportunity Bursary.

    Find out more about funding and financial support at postgraduate level.

    Careers and employability

    Graduates go on to careers in film and television companies, museums and galleries, arts administration and teaching.

    Find out more about the destinations of graduates in this subject.

    Birkbeck offers a wide range of free careers support and advice for students.

    Teaching and assessment


    Lectures, screenings and seminars. Some modules include organised visits to archives and collections.


    During your year at Birkbeck, you will be assessed by 3 coursework essays of approximately 5000 words each, a research report and a dissertation of 15,000 words, due in September of the final year.

    During your year abroad, the assessment will depend on the institutions you attend. In most cases, the assessment will be a mixture of essays and examinations.

    Our research

    Birkbeck is one of the world’s leading research-intensive institutions. Our cutting-edge scholarship informs public policy, achieves scientific advances, supports the economy, promotes culture and the arts, and makes a positive difference to society.

    Birkbeck’s research excellence was confirmed in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, which placed Birkbeck 30th in the UK for research, with 73% of our research rated ‘world-leading’ or internationally excellent.

    Read about Birkbeck research that enriches our experience and understanding of our shared history, culture and art.

    Further study opportunities

    Interested in further research? We offer an MPhil/PhD in Film and Screen Media.